Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.
Count Dracula, a gray-haired vampire who regains his youth by dining on the blood of maidens, is pursued in London and Transylvania by Professor Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker and Quincey Morris after he victimizes them and their loved ones.
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.
Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at Count Dracula's castle. He is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.
Roy Ward Baker
When a ship is wrecked off Whitby, the only survivor, Count Dracula, is discovered lying on the beach by the sickly young Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her dear friend Lucy Seward. Lucy, her fiancé Jonathan Harker (a solicitor), and her father Dr. Jack Seward (who runs the local asylum) try to make the Count feel welcome to England. The Count quickly takes the life of Mina, and proceeds to romance Lucy, with the intention of making her his greatest bride. Soon after the death of Mina, the Sewards call her father Dr. Abraham Van Helsing to come to their home. As Lucy falls deeper under the spell of the Count, Dr. Van Helsing almost immediately comes to understand that his daughter fell prey to a vampire and discovers the culprit to be none other than the Count himself. Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and Harker work together to foil the Count's plans to take Lucy away to his native Transylvania.Written by
Hillary Glendinning (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When undead Mina approaches Van Helsing in the mines under the graveyard, her reflection is seen in the water. When, two scenes later, Count Dracula comes into Mina's home and walks by a mirror, Van Helsing points out that he did not see Dracula in the mirror. That Lucy does cast a reflection in the water, where she ordinarily should not have, is explainable by the fact that, just before her reflection became visible, Van Helsing had dropped a crucifix into the water. That had the effect of sanctifying the water--of making it holy water, in other words; though they cast no reflections in glass or polished metals, vampires (according to one obscure detail of the superstitions about them) WILL reflect in holy water, which is the only substance capable of showing vestigial remnants of the souls they lost to damnation when they died as living beings. See more »
Director John Badham intended to film the movie in black and white but was forced by the studio to shoot in Technicolor. When the movie was re-released on laserdisc in 1991, at the behest of Badham, the lush color was drained from the film. All subsequent home video releases feature the desaturated print. See more »
I remember a time in the late 1970s early 1980s when filmmakers were trying to resurrect the old movie heroes into new franchises. Tarzan, Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, Superman, Zorro they were all trotted out, with results varying from excellent ('Superman: The Movie') to fun ('Flash Gordon') to 'What were they thinking?' (just about everything else)
Let's be fair: John Badham's 1979 version of 'Dracula' is not nearly as bad as the Bo Derek 'Tarzan the Ape Man' or 'Legend of the Lone Ranger,' but it's still not very good. There are a few moments of inspiration, and some good work running through, but overall this is one of the lesser Dracula movies.
A few words about the cast. Frank Langella wouldn't be my first choice to play Count Dracula, but he acquits himself well. His Dracula is an elegant, arrogant creature, a being who enjoys toying with the mortals around him before he destroys them. Watching his superior attitude, I could almost believe this creature had survived centuries and destroyed whole armies of opponents. Opposite Dracula is his perennial adversary, Dr. Van Helsing, played by the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier. Olivier gives the old vampire hunter a class and humanity lacking in most portrayals, although you can see the famous Van Helsing iron will in his face-to-face confrontations with the vampire king. The rest of the cast, alas, tends to fade into the background you enjoy them while they're on screen, but the moment they leave, they evaporate from your consciousness.
One of the things I particularly enjoyed about this 'Dracula' was its music, composed by the legendary John Williams. The decade between 1975-1984 had Williams producing classics like 'Jaws,' the 'Star Wars' trilogy, 'Superman' and the first two Indiana Jones films, one after the other this score compares favorably with those works, and gives the movie a distinct orchestral voice. There are some passages, particularly at the beginning of the dinner party scenes, that remind me of passages from 'The Empire Strikes Back,' one year later.
So, there are things to like in this movie, but overwhelming flaws cripple it. The supporting cast, as I mentioned, is bland to the point of invisibility. The pace is uneven, and the dialogue is awkward. Worst of all, the filmmakers can't seem to decide if they want their movie to be a classic horror tale or a Gothic romance. There's no reason why it couldn't be both, of course, but that means there has to be elements of both styles present, and 'Dracula' is neither consistently scary or sexy. It has it's moments, but not enough to sustain the tone and save the picture. While it remains watchable, this 'Dracula' is one I just can't bring myself to truly recommend.
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